Walk the Talk

“I believe you can speak things into existence.” – Jay Z

motivational monday-01.jpg

One of this week’s favorite was the Muscle Mind Project’s interview with Rob MacDonald, the guy at Gym Jones who got over 400 cals on 300 FY. It was cool to hear him talk about his preparation for that test; twenty hours a week on the devil’s bike for months. It’s good to be reminded of all the preparation that it takes to accomplish such things. For anyone, blessed genetics or not.

Bobby’s Rules of the Gymnasium:

  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch. There’s a cost to everything. Be prepared.
  • Show up, don’t quit, ask questions.
  • Help foster a good gym/training environment. Make a contribution.
  • Make your walk match your talk.
  • Have fun.

And I liked what he had to say about goal-setting; for us regular folk to push past setting a singular goal, but instead create a set of ten sub-goals. My first stab:

  1. Have healthy enough shoulders to perform Murph 2017 Rx
  2. Back squat: 1.5 BW
  3. Press to handstand
  4. Legless rope climb
  5. Snatch: .75 BW
  6. Bench: .75 BW
  7. Pass all the booty tests: barbell, quarter, coffee cup, las manos
  8. Do my pistols without holding my toes
  9. Side plank with LL: no problem
  10. Free standing tick-tocks

Yep. That does feel more substantial than “get stronger”. What’s your list look like?

30 May | M
Hiking @ S Mtn

29 May | Su
Pillars |3x
Scaption x 8 (ooh soreness)
Hip hikes x 12 ea
Wall-pressing dead bugs x 1:00

Warm-up | 3x
Goblet squat x 5
BB Good mornings x 10
Row x 200m

Work | Clean pulls 7 x 2 (155,155,165#…)
Snatch balance 3 x 3 (60,60, 55#)
4 sets:
Box squats x 3 (115#)
BTN press x 5 (55#, 3 sets only)
GHR x 10
Banded SL RDLs x 10 ea

Stretch | 15:00

27 May | F
Warm-up | 3x
Run x 100m
KBS x 5
Goblet squat x 3
BB press x 5

Work | Class-y workout
20 rounds:
DL + H-hC + FS + S2O (95#)

Stretch |20:00

26 May | Th
Pillars |3x
GA squats x 8
Wall press + rotations x 10
TVA leg drops x 15

Warm-up |4x
AD x 1:00
El hombre push-ups x  7
Sit-ups x 10

Work | Ooooh-lifting
Power clean 6 x 1 (115,125,130,135,140,140#)
Clean 6 x 1 @ 85% of ‘A’ (115#)
Rack jerk 6 x1 across (115#)
3 sets:
Box hops x 10
SA seated press x 6 ea (25#)
Side bridge x 1:00 or max (1:00, :50, :50)

Stretch | 15:00

Th | Really felt like I was gonna nail that 140# on the power cleans. Not today. The last half of the cleans felt really strong and fast. The jerks were solid; feel like I am finally starting to get under it actively. Did the hops on the box because they felt way more stable than the on the padding of the bench. Are those training explosiveness? Interesting to see what part failed first on the side planks. QL and mid back for moi.

F | Just greasing the groove for Murph. Made the hang power cleans high-hang cleans, because, you know, I like to feel fast…


Su | Clean pulls felt really good; heavier than I typically go, too. Snatch balance were a little slow. Noticed my grip was pretty narrow, so I widened that out, which helped, but still dropped weight to make them speedy. Realized on the presses that maybe they were slow because the right shoulder was acting up. Stopped at 3 rounds on that movement because my trap kept trying to do the work, not the lat.

Let the Right One(s) In

“Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometime they pretend to be your friend first.” – Steve Irwin

let the right one it

Ooh kinda heavy for a Sunday, Morgan.

28  Feb | Su
Hike @ South Mountain
Mormon + Fat Man’s Pass Loop

27 Feb | Sa
Work | O-lifting
Halting snatch pulls 5 x 3 (85,95,105#…)
Power snatch 7 x 1 (85#)
Power clean 7 x 1 (105,115,120,125,130#…)

Sunset hike | Phoenix Mountain Preserve

26 Feb | F
Work | 5 rounds:
AD x 1:00
Sled x 100m @115#
Row x 1:00
Banded hip bridges x 1:00

Just rolling through. Everything is feeling good…

fist pump steve.gif

Now to keep it that way. Didn’t go crazy with the weights on Saturday, but things felt good. Ray tinkered with my parts after O-lifting to see what the fuck is going on there. We’ll see what this week’s homework reveals.

I did perform two hikes this weekend. Feeling good after both of them. In all my years I can’t remember doing a sunset hike, except whilst camping. So I threw one in the mix and it was splendid.

It got even better than this once the sun was almost completely down. Some shit the camera just can’t capture.

I’m thinkin’ I’m gonna to head to The Sups next Sunday to check out a new-to-me trail.

Ebb & Flow

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.” -Steve Maraboli

life wears water wings
If life were a toddler in water wings


I just started listening to a new podcast by Stephanie Gaudreau over at Stupid Easy Paleo. On a recent episode of Harder to Kill Radio (yeah, how great is that title) she chatted with my girl Kate Galliett. They covered all the usual topics, but the part that had me hollering “yes!” at my iPhone was their conversation about mindset.

“Unpack that story. Fit for real life means you move well, you think well, and you move well through space and time, meaning you – as a whole human – carry yourself forward… You’re not held back by beliefs that are self-limiting.”

They continue on with a discussion about resiliency and being able to ebb and flow with whatever it is that life – and the people in it – bring to you. And how then, this whole-being fitness leads to self-evolution. (Yes!) And, like iterations of software, we become upgrades of our former selves. I find myself to be Leah 3.7, on the cusp of 4.0. There has definitely be 3 significant demarcated iterations amongst the incremental ones.

So, what version of yourself are you…?

27 June | Sat-Ur-day
MFR | 10:00

Warm-up | 3 rds:
Wall balls x10
Wall Press x10
HRPUs x8
V-ups x10
Mobility moves

Workout | EMOM! x30:00
Bench Press x5 (65×2, 75#xR)
DUs x30
Power Clean x1 + Hang Clean x2 (95×2, 105#xR)

Straaatch | 20:00

25 June | FriGAY!
Warm-up | Mobility:
Hip bridges
SL Hip bridges

Workout | Front squat 5×1 (115,125,135,145,145#)
– then –
EMOM x10:00 (75#)
1-1/4 front squat x3 @50% of “A”
– then –
EMOM x10:00
KB swing x10 @44#

Stretch | 20:00

25 June | Thursday
Rehab Socks/Rest Day

24 June | Wednesday
Happy Hour Class!

Workout | 30:00 rotating
Farmer carries x100m (44s)
Wall walk x2
Row x400m
AD x30 cals
Rope x:50

Stretch Class | 20:00

23 June | Tuesday
Rehab Socks/Rest Day

This week, things felt a little tender and tight on the right side, so I backed off quite a bit and took a couple rest days. I hit the foam roller a little too hard on Monday and irritated things rather then expediting my recovery.

I don’t think it’s a single movement that fires up my hip region; I think it’s that I’m still in the process of re-establishing the brain-glute pathway and correcting my movement pattern on that side. Who knows how long it took to develop, so it’s understandable that it will take some time to correct. (I write that last line merely as a note to myself; I seem to have to constantly remind myself that this isn’t a matter of fixed or broken. It’s a process. The process is the goal.)

Moving on, Wednesday’s class workout felt good, though it was tougher than I’d anticipated! That row- AD combo was challenging.

I approached Friday’s workout with a, “Let’s just see how this feels…” mindset. I didn’t push it on the single rep front squats and was prepared to drop weight on the 1-1/4 version, but didn’t need to. I incorporated some “glute activators” in the warm-up – an effort to gain some mental awareness there. Between all the stimuli and the short shorts in the ‘nasium, sometimes I get distracted…

Ya herrr?

Okay, back to squats. Here are rounds 9 and 10 of the Front Squat EMOM:

Saturday things were feeling pretty good. Did some light MFR and a solid warm up. Chose to go with an EMOM as I wanted to do some work whilst keeping myself in check on the volume and the movement patterns.

Finally, and randomly, I dig using the skittle plates. It’s a bit of a mind game – they take up less space on the bar so I feel like I perceive that there is less weight loaded. Just an initial hypothesis, but I’ll be interested to see how things progress.

Today’s “Questions for TG” segment is brought to you by the latest and greatest from The Wolf. This week’s Paleo Solution Podcast features Coach Summers, and you know  how that guy keeps it real. They spend some time discussing the Jefferson Curl. I don’t know if this is a good demo but as I didn’t see a free version from GB, and seeing this guy has a beard…

I just (working on that) found it interesting what Coach Summers has to say – how it doesn’t matter how strong you are if you aren’t mobile. Word. I really liked that podcast episode.

Ate my body weight in protein for, what likely was, the first time ever on Friday. Holy shit, that’s work. Hopefully it gets easier as it becomes more of a habit… and after I have my tiger paws on the supps.




Clean Eatin’, Dirty Thinkin’

“I am not a snob; it is simply that I am not interested with what most people have to say, or what they want to do – mostly with my time.” – Charles Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man

pink wine and whisky

I’m one week in with Two Grand, a new-to-me app for logging your eats and developing new habits. So far, I am having a lot of fun with it! Anyone else a sucker for a reason to take pics? Anyone? I signed up thinking it would be interesting to have a visual timeline of my eating habits, or rather, “I wonder how many times in a month I actually… eat out/ indulge in an entire pint of McConnell’s Salted Caramel Chip Ice Cream/ purchase cups of delight (espresso)”… You get the idea.

I really like the app, which is similar to other social media apps in that you can follow and be followed (when you put it that way !?!). I’m currently stalking a few folks, other ladies who lift, fellow paleoites, and a couple people with fun handles, but foremost, I’m in for me.

Beyond seeing what other people consume, it’s interesting to see the words folks assign to their pics. Ranging from the obvious, “lunch,” to the specific, “one ounce of gluten-free, grass-fed cheese from a goat named Ralph located on the northern slope of Mount BFE,” you can pick up a lot from what people say about their visuals. Bottom line, and yet again, we are all here for different reasons, with different goals and different definitions of health.

Two Grand in the background, I came across an article that addresses what has to be the most annoying word ever assigned to food. “Clean is for underwear, not food,” covers it all; the primary point being the term itself, “clean eating,” is ambiguous and inherently judgmental. And it kicks off with a pair of superhero BGPs. AND the author, Lacy Davis, says fuck a lot. We could totally be friends.

So, eat the clean food. Eat the dirty food. If you want a cookie, eat a cookie. And sweet baby Jesse, just say no to the pucks of suffering!

Now, to the dirty thoughts. Yeah, that was just an easy title. So those are all you, friend. Should you need some inspiration, I give you John Hamm. Have at it!

18 June | Thursday
Rest Day

17 June | Wednesday
Warm-up | 3 Rounds:
Row x:45
Wall press x10
OH Walking lunge x10
DUs x20

Workout | 5 Rounds:
Incline bench press x3 (30# DBs)
Rest x1:00
Chin up hold xAMSAP (20,17,19,20,17)
Rest x2:00
– then –
RFESS 3×10 ea. (15# DBs)
Rest x1:00 btwn legs
– then –
5 Rounds:
Banded triceps push-downs x10 (blue)
Rest x1:00
Hanging bent knee raise x5
Rest x1:00

MFR + Stretch | 20:00

16 June | Tuesday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
Wall ball x8
Walking lunges x10
Mobility Moves
HRPUs x5

Training | Power clean 8×2 (115,115,125,130,130,135,135,130#)
– zen –
Push press 5×1 (95,105,115,120,125#)
– zen –
3 Sets:
GH Raise x6
Rest x1:00
Body rows x10
Rest x1:00

Get Bendy | 15:00

15 June | Monday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
DUs x25
Pistoles x2 ea
V-ups x10

Workout | EMOM x10:00
1-1/4 Back Squat x3 @50% 1RM (85#)
– then –
Death March x4 (25# DBs)
Rest x2:00
– then –
EMOM x10:00 (5×2, 5×1)
Wall Walk x2

Stretch | 15:00

Monday | Started the day with a jaunt to the top of “A” Mtn.

From the top of Tempe Butte: Summer is… here.

During the first EMOM of the day – with the 1-1/4 squats – I really had to focus on keeping the right glute engaged through that third rep. Took a few rounds to catch myself, and then a couple to correct it. The death march was awesome like it sounds. Can’t believe how much those work the glutes, hammies, back AND abs. Those things are quickly becoming one of my favorite movements. TGUs still win. I’m rambling… On the walk walk EMOM I did 2 reps each minute for the first five and 1 rep on the last five rounds. The shoulders were getting questionably fatigued.

Tuesday | Woke up with some seriously sore hammies and glutes, which persisted through Wednesday morning…

nailed it broad city
Broad City: my new favorite. Strong glutes & hammies make you the bitch in the suit. Mmm hmm

I really wanted to get up to the 140’s on the power cleans, but I felt a little beat up so just went with it. Worked up to 125# on the push press which I was happy with. And I was able to do the GHRs with my hands behind my head, not at my chest which is progress. The body rows felt fine on the shoulder. I was able to do the first set of 10 unbroken.

Wednesday | Looked (and felt) recovery-ish, which was delightful.

Thursday | Rest day – Mmm hmm.

Fuck yeah, sleep!


Ballerinas & Birthmarks

“Big things are often just little things that people notice.” -Markus Zusak, I Am the Messenger

birthmarks and ballerinasI adore that photo. There’s so much happening… and it just makes me smile.

Okay, now a random question to ponder on this wonderfully rainy and day-dreamy Friday in the desert: What if birthmarks tell us the story of what killed us in a past life?

Whoa. So many options. Today, I believe in my past life I was caught off guard and stabbed in the leg by a white walker while trying to get in Jon Snow’s… boat. Yep.

04 June | Thursday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
Row x:45
SA press x5 ea
Walking lunges x10
DUs x20

Workout | – A –
Clean pulls 6×3 @160#
– B –
Power clean 5×2 @105#
Rest 2:00
– C –
Ring FLR x4:00 in least amount of sets as possible (6)
Stretch + MRF | 25:00

03 June | Wednesday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
Wall ball x8
Zing zows x8
V sits x8
DUs x20
Mobility Bidnass

Workout | Press 4×1 (80, 85, 85, 90, 90)
– then –
5 Sets:
Press x10 @ 50% of “A” (45#)
Rest x1:00
Stationary dip lowers x3
Rest x1:00
Slam ball x5 (30#)
Rest x1:00

02 June | Tuesday
Warm-up | 3 rounds:
Wall ball x10
HR Push-up x5
Wall walk x1
Banded hip bridges x10
Mobility moves

Workout | Back squat 4×1 (145, 155, 165, 170#)
– then –
Back squat 3×10 reps @ 85#
– then –
Tabata row for meters (850m)

Tuesday I didn’t push it on the back squat; the right hip is still a little tight, shadows of pre-PT situation. The movement felt good. Here are the requested vids:

The partial back squat was really interesting. Started out by feeling it in the quads rather than in the cakes. I experimented each set trying to keep the glutei involved. By limiting the range of motion to the top half of the bottom half (what?!) –  not bottoming out, but not going up to a quarter squat – it seemed to help keep the glutes engaged. Trial and error. Repeat. It’s like fucking science class up in here. My hypothesis: 

nose job and boob gap
Preach on it Kelly

Also, I am going to remember the tabata row next time I need a quick kick in the ass.

Tricep Wednesday was enlightening. My 1RM on strict press is 95# and man, I struggled to get 85# up. Took me a few reps to get the position right on the dips – where my shoulder didn’t feel like it was moving wrong. Seemed to help to bend my legs rather than pike them, but I suspect that’s just because it kept my forward on the matador. Matador! Roll that Rrrr…

Thursday was a day of firsts; first run at heavy clean pulls with straps AND the first time I’ve used the competition style plates. (BGPs!) There’s soooo much room on the bar now. Not that that was an issue before. All the clean work felt great. The FLR on the rings was much harder than I had anticipated. I had no doubt about accumulating 4:00 in 4 sets. It took me six. And lit up my lower back. Gotta do some more of those.

I am experiencing some tingling hands and forearms which I attribute to the presses on Wednesday. I will be putting in some extra time on the foam roller and with the lacrosse ball today after stretch.



“Life is like a roller coaster. Sometimes it’s fun; sometimes it scares the shit out of you.” -life advice from CKMcA

fun scary squirrel

28 May | Thursday
6:00 Class

AMRAP x8:00: (3 + 207)
Row x200m
BB sit-ups x10 (35# BB)
HRPUs x5
– Rest x4:00 –
AMRAP x8:00: (4 + :45)
AD x1:00
KBS x10 (44#)
Goblet squat x5
– Rest x4:00 –
AMRAP x8:00: (4 + 35)
Tire Hits x20
DUs x20
Zing  zows x7

Stretch | 20:00

27 May | Wednesday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
Row x:45
Wall press x10
V-ups x10
DUs x20

Workout | Power snatch 4×3 (65, 75, 75, 75#)
Reset between reps
Catch & hold in quarter squat for :02
Abs – braced
Glutes – engaged
Shoulder blades – doin’ their thang
Rest x 1:00 btwn sets
– then –
Power snatch 4×1 (80, 85, 90 (PR!), 95#)
Reset. Pause @ catch. Check-in.
Rest x1:00
– then –
Power clean 4×3 (80, 75, 75, 75#)
Reset. Pause @ catch. Check-in.
Rest x1:00
– then –
Death march 4×1 (15, 20# DBs)

Stretch | 20:00

26 May | Tuesday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
AD/Row x:45
KB Snatch x5 ea
Wall walk x2
Mobility movements

Workout | Power clean 5×1 (130, 135, 140, 140, 145#)
Rest x3:00
– then –
4 Rounds:
Bench press x4 (75, 80, 80, 80#)
right into
Buenas Dias x5 (95, 105, 105, 105#)
Rest x3:00

Handstands | 10:00

Stretch | 20:00

Tuesday’s workout was a nice ease back into things after the holiday weekend. Things felt good. When 140# is easy:

And 145# is not (Git under it, Morgan!):

Wednesday’s power snatch series was fun. Things felt good. So good that I PR’d on the middle set! For not having done the movement much recently, I was really excited. Fuck that qualifier – I am excited!

PR self high five
The high-five, remote coaching style

The death march was good. Next time I’ll start with the 20#ers. I attempted the 26# KBs, but looked like the middle section of the demo – stutter stepping. 

I enjoyed Thursday’s class workout, both the company and the breathing. I think the two hardest components were the tire hits and the BB sit-ups.

Trying to incorporate some quality gelatin into my diet for my skin and my ‘do. Made these hot chocolate cubes.

Hot Chocolate Squares. Better for you than, but not as delicious as, brownies

They do taste a little like hot chocolate, just with a chewy texture. Here’s the recipe from Real Food RN. Just make sure to add the water to the blender first. It turns out gelatin could double as cement and getting that shit out of the bottom of the blender may have required disassembly.


The Extremes

“Nothing could be dimmer than those torches, which allow us not to pierce the darkness, but to see it.” – Seneca

roman glass
“A fragment of Roman glass dating back to the 3rd century is among the trove of artifacts found on the Vindolanda settlement.” Click on the image for the source story

I came across that incredible quote in my latest read, Roman Honor: The Fire in the Bones by Carlin A BartonThe book is fantastic, really intense. It covers so much territory, I am going to have to read it a second time through just to pick up all the footnotes.

Another item on my reading list this week was this article. It struck a chord with me, and my quest to build a booty. It’s good to be reminded that those perfectly plump glutei blowing up my feed take a lot of work, dedication, time, and some serious genetic luck.

“Ultimately, expecting an extreme end-of-scale outcome from moderate scale effort isn’t realistic.” -Alexander Cortes, The Fit Chick Reality

I appreciate a nice can as much as the next person and it’s awesome to have some inspiration, but in the end (I’m so punny) I don’t want my whole world to revolve around any part of my flesh vessel. Well, that sounds pervy. As is the case with the Romans, the truth lies in the middle…

“And so, for the ancient Romans, honor pivoted on the Heroic Middle… Aurea mediocritas was not the timid restraint, the joyless surrender to conventionality of the modern bourgeois, nor was it an excuse for complacency or inactivity. On the contrary, in the Roman mind, moderation was a sort of firebreak against the conflagration of ambition and passion that threatened at all times to engulf the commonwealth.” -Carlin A Barton, Roman Honor: The Fire in the Bones

Romans and competition booty – that’s quite a pairing. But, it’s good to be well-rounded, both in history and in the glutei.

20 May | Wednesday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
Wall ball x10
Walking lunges x10
KBS x10
Mobility moves

Workout | Power clean 4 x3 (95, 105, 115, 125#)
Pause x:02 at catch
Reset btwn reps
Rest x1:00 btwn sets
– then –
Power clean 4 x1 (130, 135, 135, 140#)
Pause x:02 at catch
Reset btwn reps
Rest x1:00 btwn sets
– then –
Power clean 4 x3 reps (1251330, 125, 125#)
Pause x:02 at catch
Reset btwn reps
Rest x1:00 btwn sets
– then –
BB Hip bridge 4 sets x10 (95, 115, 125, 125#)
Rest x1:00

Stretch & some foam rolling | 30:00

19 May | Tuesday

Workout | 4 sets:
Bench press x5 (75, 75, 80, 80, 85#)
right into
Banded chin ups x5 tough reps
Rest x2:00
– then –
4 rounds:
Row x300m
Burpee x5

18 May | Monday
Warm-up | 3 rds:
Row x:45
Walking lunges x10
DUs x20
Wall walk x1

Workout | Back squats
Rest x3:00 btwn sets
5 reps @ 115#
4 @115#
3 @125#
2 @130#
1 @135#
AMRAP @110# (15)
– then –
KB lunge 3 sets x10 steps ea (26# KBs)
Rest x1:30

The squats felt heavy Monday; I was thankful for the lighter prescribed weight. Took a vid of the AMRAP set since I failed at it last week. Am I getting low enough on those squats? Maybe it’s just that the camera was at ass level, but I was thinking they may be a teensy bit shallow.

Not sure that I did the lunges correctly, as I used two KBs. But they were definitely challenging. Felt ’em Tuesday (and the squats, too) in the booty region. E’erytime! Success. The single leg work is still harder on the right side than on the left, but that’s improving. Rock on single leg work.

two hands

Tuesday bee-inch was good to go, though I may have had to eek out that last rep. But I did it. Failed on the fifth chin-up of the last three sets, getting about midway and then just not able to finish the job. But I didn’t have the elbow tension that I’ve experienced the last few times I’ve done them. So… upside. Think I fucked up that last segment of the workout. There seemed to be an extra multiplier in my email. If this were a math quiz, the options for interpretation would have been:

A) 4[3(300+5)]

B) 4(300+5)

C) 4[(3×300)+5]

D) None of the above

I chose B, because everyone knows that you go with B or C when you guess on multiple choice. (And C was still a shit ton of rowing, which I wasn’t feeling up to.)  It felt good to breathe hard(er) and get a bit uncomfy. Ooh, the aerobic base needs some work, for sure.

Power Clean Wednesday, I believe I went a little too heavy, too fast. That last round of cleans was rough. I managed, but stuck at 125#. The BB hip bridges felt good – SO MUCH SQUEEZING.

Some insights after just a week or so of checking myself before I wreck myself:

  • I am definitely not a Moderator. I know this, but then, it’s good to be reminded.
  • I am amazed YET AGAIN at how much better and clear headed I feel, just by getting rid of that bit of junk I had sneaked back onto my plate.
  • When you don’t sip espresso all day, the one ‘Mericano you do have in the morning tastes fucking amazing!